New Zealand’s immigration figures are continuing to hit record levels, despite the new government’s attempts to dampen the growth.
The Annual Migration Trends report shows that New Zealand had a net gain of 72,300 permanent and long-term migrants in 2016/17 – a 4.7 per cent increase over the previous year.
The number of year-on-year work visas also increased for the seventh consecutive year, with 152,432 temporary workers in the country on 30th June 2017 – 16 per cent more than had been in the country the year before.
A quarter of all permanent arrivals and 57 per cent of all departures are New Zealand citizens.
However, New Zealand’s current Immigration Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway, remains adamant that the government’s upcoming changes to the immigration system will start to see fewer new arrivals, but lead to a more targeted program.
“I must reiterate our position that the numbers are less important than having an immigration system that actually works better for New Zealand, especially the regions and industries facing labour shortages,” he said. “We will work constructively with employers, workers, local government and business organisations to make sure New Zealand gets a responsive and flexible immigration system that really works for New Zealand,” Lees-Galloway added.
Article published 29th March 2018